Helen Walker, chief executive of Carers UK, said:
“Whilst the Government’s vision for a strong society that sees people get the care they need is positive – in order to achieve this it must commit far more attention and long-term investment to our social care system, and the millions of people providing unpaid care for relatives and friends.
“Currently, the widespread shortage of health and care services is damaging unpaid carers’ health. More than a quarter (27%) are in bad or very bad mental health, and 69% are finding it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Many carers are not able to get the care services they need to take a break, while a third (30%) of those waiting for hospital treatment or assessment have been waiting for over a year.
“We urge the Government to commit to developing a National Carers Strategy that focuses on targeted support for unpaid carers, including a cross-government plan for preventing poverty, and targeted mental health support. Similar to the NHS workforce plan, social care too needs a dedicated workforce strategy so that there is much more quality care available and unpaid carers aren’t having to fill the wide gaps in care - at an enormous cost to their own health and wellbeing.”